Jun 21 2014

1994: June 18-24

tvweek_180694Cover: Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, Sharon Stone, Winona Ryder

Lochie’s Getaway gig
Lochie Daddo has been announced as David Reyne‘s replacement on travel show Getaway. “Travelling is one of my favourite pastimes and now they are paying me to do it,” he told TV Week. His first story will screen on the show’s ‘Australia On $50-A-Day’ special to go to air in early July. But while Reyne quit Getaway at the end of last year out of frustration at the show’s strict production guidelines, he will be back as a guest reporter. “Other people (at Nine) would look at stories I’d done and say, ‘That was great’, but I’d be saying, ‘No, it wasn’t great at all’. There just wasn’t enough time to do stories properly,” he said. “But when it was suggested to me that I could go back to do a series of stories the way I wanted to do them, I thought that was amazing and agreed to sign up for another ten weeks.”

Horsing around in pantyhose!frankiejholdenjonenglish
Old rockers, and mates, Frankie J Holden and Jon English took to the Snowy Mountains for a three-day trail ride through the lush pastures of Reynella, close to the northern end of the Kosciusko National Park, for The Great Outdoors. But days of horse riding can cause a nasty case of chasing — so out come the fishnets! Holden may have appreciated the relief on his aching legs but English, the more experienced horseman dating back to the days of making mini-series Against The Wind, gave them a miss. “Theoretically, it’s right to wear pantyhose,” he told TV Week. “But fishnets are a bloody ridiculous idea.”

chriskirbypetabradyWar on the streets
The quiet, middle-class street depicted in Neighbours couldn’t be further from guest star Christopher Kirby‘s own background. Kirby was raised in the tough south-central section of Los Angeles. Most of his school friends are either dead or in jail, and two of his brothers were murdered. Kirby would use television as an escape. “I grew up on its fantasies and I always thought that life could be a little better than it really was,” he told TV Week. He first came to Australia on holiday in 1989 but has since returned to work. As well as appearing on stage in The Rocky Horror Picture Show and on ABC‘s The Damnation Of Harvey McHugh, he has just finished a pilot for a new US series, Kansas, being filmed on the Gold Coast. He joins Neighbours as Drew Grover, the American boyfriend Cody (Peta Brady) left behind when she returned from being an exchange student. Everyone in Ramsay Street is shocked to discover that Cody and Drew are actually married.


  • rebeccagillingshirleystrachanNine‘s renovation series Our House has proved the doubters wrong and has clocked up its first year on air. The show has not only been a ratings hit but has been parodied on the rival Seven Network‘s Full Frontal. “We must be doing better business than I thought,” co-host Graeme “Shirley” Strachan (pictured with co-host Rebecca Gilling) told TV Week. “I haven’t seen Full Frontal but I’m not worried by it… who would be watching Channel 7, anyway!”
  • Former E Street star Marcus Graham has knocked back a three-month guest role on Network Ten‘s Heartbreak High, citing a desire to pursue stage work.
  • Network Ten‘s upcoming children’s series Ocean Girl is already making its mark overseas before airing in Australia. The series has been sold to both the BBC and the Family Channel in the United Kingdom. Producer Jonathan Schiff says a US deal is also underway. Ocean Girl stars Marza Godecki and Kerry Armstrong and is due to debut on Ten in September.
  • lesmurraypeterandreSBS  has adapted the Peter Andre song To The Top to use as its theme song for its coverage of the FIFA World Cup from the United States. SBS has a team of 40, based in San Francisco, to produce 187 hours of coverage to be broadcast on SBS and regional network Prime in Australia, and also relaying to broadcasters in Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore.

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here

“It is customary for the television networks to issue releases of their weekly program “highlights”, sometimes detailing the storylines of the various soaps. We were left in breathless anticipation here by a recent revelation of events unfolding on the Seven Network‘s Home And Away. “Irene is shocked to discover a cow in her backyard,” said the blurb. Now that’s a plotline I bet they’ll milk.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, June 18-24):

FIFA World Cup: SBS’ coverage of the FIFA World Cup continues through the week with one or two matches overnight and one match in late morning. A nightly one-hour highlights package (8.30pm on Saturday and 7.30pm Sunday to Friday) is hosted by Les Murray and Johnny Warren plus there is another highlights package each night at 11pm.

Saturday: The Rugby Union First Test – Australia versus Italy — is broadcast from Brisbane (9.30pm, Ten).

Sunday: Sunday AFL includes Brisbane Bears versus Essendon (2pm, Seven), live from Brisbane, and Adelaide versus Melbourne (5.30pm, Seven), live from Adelaide. Sunday night movies are Boomerang (Seven), The Hunt For Red October (repeat, Nine) and Hot Shots (repeat, Ten).

Monday: Children’s quiz show Vidiot (5.30pm, ABC), returns with a new series. In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Debbie (Marnie Reece-Wilmore) thinks her eating disorder is no big deal. In Healthy Wealthy And Wise (7.30pm, Ten), Peter Wherrett visits an automobile event celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Mustang; Tonia Todman creates a hat box for all occasions; and Ross Greenwood takes a novel look at superannuation. The Rugby League State Of Origin (9.30pm, Nine) is broadcast from Brisbane, followed by the start of two weeks of nightly Wimbledon tennis coverage (11.10pm, Nine).

Tuesday: In Blue Heelers (7.30pm, Seven), Maggie (Lisa McCune) becomes involved with the local MP’s press officer, but the road to romance turns rocky when Maggie pulls him over on a drink driving charge. Jo Beth Taylor hosts the Mid-Year Semi-Final of Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show (7.30pm, Nine). In GP (8.30pm, ABC), when Ian’s (Tony Llewellyn-Jones) parents move into a retirement unit, years of anger and resentment surface.

Wednesday: In Heartbreak High (7.30pm, Ten), Southgate (Tony Martin) is having some emotional problems at home and school and seeks Yola’s (Doris Younane) help — and Yola is in a predicament herself by seeing a married man, which causes some tension with Christina (Sarah Lambert). In Hey Dad! (8pm, Seven), when Ben’s (Ben Oxenbould) girlfriend (Cathy Godbold) follows him to Sydney from Taree, he tries to think up ways to fob her off.

Thursday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Doug (Terence Donovan) visits the urologist and is told he requires an operation. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Jack (Daniel Amalm) and Selina’s (Tempany Deckert) romance hots up. Beyond 2000 (7.30pm, Ten) looks at VR Hornet, the arcade game of the future; and visits the one man crew who does everything on a 24 hour news station. Former Australian test cricketer Mike Whitney hosts the new series The Innovators (8pm, ABC), covering topics that celebrate innovation, ingenuity and inventiveness. The one-hour special The Beatles In Australia: 30th Anniversary (8.30pm, Nine) looks at The Beatleshistoric tour of Australia in 1964 and features footage from one of the Melbourne concerts.

Friday: In Rex Hunt’s The Great Outdoors (7.30pm, Seven), Ernie Dingo takes part in the celebrity race at the Tennant Creek Go Kart Grand Prix; and Penny Cook goes kayaking down the Brisbane River.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 18 June 1994. Southdown Press.



Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/06/1994-june-18-24.html

Jun 19 2014

RVN2 turns 50

rvn2_0001Today marks the 50th anniversary of the official launch of station RVN2 (now a branch of the Prime7 network), based in Wagga Wagga and serving the Eastern Riverina and South Western Slopes districts of New South Wales.

Television was not entirely unheard of in the region — as keen viewers could get distant signals from other stations such as GMV6 (Shepparton), CTC7 (Canberra) and CBN8 (Orange) — but would now have their own local station, to be joined later by ABC‘s new local station ABMN0.

The licence to operate RVN2 was awarded to Riverina Television Limited in October 1962. The company was owned by a consortium of local shareholders including radio stations 2WG and 2LF and newspaper The Daily Advertiser.

RVN2, sharing a transmission tower with ABC atop Mount Ulandra, was declared open at 7.00pm on Friday, 19 June 1964. The opening night broadcast started with the Royal Australian Engineer’s Band playing the Australian National Anthem from the grounds of the RVN2 studios in Lake Albert Road, Kooringal, before station presenter Paul Griffiths introduced the station to viewers. Variety series The Frank Ifield Show, documentary Hollywood: The Golden Years, a five-minute news bulletin read by Griffiths, the movie The Dam Busters and a Jack Benny special completed the opening night’s line-up.

In 1971 RVN2 completed a merger with Albury station AMV4. The transaction led to both stations adopting a uniform program schedule, which would ultimately be co-ordinated from Wagga Wagga.

The 1980s saw RVN-AMV form a partnership with fellow regional stations CBN8-CWN6 to form The Prime Network. The partnership was later formalised with the two pairs of stations coming under the common ownership of Ramcorp Ltd.

rvn_amv primenetwork
prime1988 primelogo
prime_2001 prime7

In preparation for the upcoming aggregation of regional markets The Prime Network, later Prime Television and now Prime7, struck up an affiliation with the Seven Network for the supply of programs. Aggregation saw RVN2′s operations ‘de-merged’ from AMV and instead linked to CBN8-CWN6 to form the network’s Southern NSW outlet with aggregation, and expanded its signal into the Wollongong and Canberra markets in March 1989. Wollongong’s WIN and Canberra’s Capital Television (now Southern Cross Ten) reciprocated with expansion into the Prime coverage area from December 1989.

Production of Prime7′s local news bulletin for Wagga Wagga was shifted to the network’s Canberra studios in 2010, and longtime newsreader Doug Hogan, who joined RVN2 in 1982, read his last bulletin in 2012. He is now Prime7′s Network Director of News.

At one time RVN2 employed over 100 people at the Lake Albert Road premises. With the development of networking and the shift in production of the local news to Canberra, there are now only 14 employed by Prime7 at the site. The building, which also houses radio stations 2WG and Star 93.1 FM, is in the process of being sold. The station will maintain a local presence at a new location.

Source: The Canberra Times, 5 October 1962. Prime7. The Daily Advertiser. TV Week, 8 February 1964. Prime7 NewsThe Riverina’s Own Television Service, Maikha Ly.




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/06/rvn2-turns-50.html

Jun 19 2014

Can 3AW get Bruce back on Ten?

brucemansfieldMelbourne radio 3AW‘s Nightline program has put the call out… for co-presenter Bruce Mansfield to be invited to reprise his role of newsreader at Ten in Melbourne on its upcoming 50th anniversary.

The idea is reminiscent of Brisbane’s Seven News inviting its founding newsreader Brian Cahill to make a guest appearance on the eve of its 50th anniversary in 2009.

Mansfield, with the fashionable tinted glasses, large sideburns and brown ties, was newsreader for Eyewitness News on Ten’s predecessor ATV0 from 1973 to 1979. It was a serious change of pace for the former radio disc jockey and comic sidekick from shows like In Melbourne Tonight and Daryl SomersCartoon Corner.

0-eyewitnessnews1978During his tenure at the Eyewitness News desk Mansfield fronted the channel’s first one-hour news bulletin and was also the regular voice over man in station promos.

Although new management axed Mansfield and his newsreading partner Annette Allison from the news desk at the end of 1979, both continued to be employed at the station — with Mansfield continuing voice over work on various Ten Network programs including Young Talent Time, Perfect Match and Personality Squares.

Since 1990 he has co-hosted 3AW’s Nightline and Remember When with another ex-IMT and ATV0 presenter, former game show host Philip Brady.

ATV Ten Melbourne turns 50 years old on 1 August.

Source: Nightline
YouTube: Conniptions886




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/06/can-3aw-get-bruce-back-on-ten.html

Jun 15 2014

Obituary: Leigh Spence

leighspenceLeigh Spence, director of TV dramas including Prisoner, A Country Practice and Home And Away, has died at the age of 75.

Soap opera historian Andrew Mercado has written a tribute to Spence, published by The Sydney Morning Herald.

Spence’s career started at the ABC in the late 1950s, starting as a studio hand before working his way up to producer/director. He later worked outside the industry and overseas before returning to ABC to work on various productions including GTK, Sounds Like Us, Adventure Island, Mr Squiggle and Farnham And Byrne.

He later became a director for the Grundy Organisation, working on The Restless Years and then the long-running Prisoner.

Later credits included A Country Practice, Kings, Rafferty’s Rules, Hey Dad!, My Two Wives, E Street, Over the Hill, Paradise Beach, Pacific Drive, Breakers and Home And Away.

At the time of his retirement, the cast of Home And Away presented him with their own special “Logie” for “Australia’s Best Loved Drama Director”.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/06/obituary-leigh-spence.html

Jun 13 2014

SBS launches Join In slogan

sbs_2008SBS will use its coverage of the FIFA World Cup to launch its new branding slogan, ‘Join In’.

The new slogan replaces ‘Seven Billion Stories’ which originally launched as ‘Six Billion Stories’ in 2008.

The new network promo features SBS employees and personalities with the message that in this culturally diverse society we should appreciate our differences — “for without our differences, we wouldn’t be the same.”

The ‘Join In’ promotion was created by agency Joy in partnership with SBS and will be first broadcast on SBS One during the Australia versus Chile match in the FIFA World Cup early on Saturday morning (Australian time).

Source: AdNews
YouTube: SBS




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/06/sbs-launches-join-in-slogan.html

Jun 11 2014

1994: June 11-17

tvweek_110694Cover: Melissa George (Home And Away)

Heartbreak High signs Kym Wilson
Former A Country Practice star Kym Wilson will be arriving soon into Heartbreak High. Playing the part of rebel schoolteacher Sam Robinson, Wilson replaces Sarah Lambert whose character Christina Milano will be making only guest appearances. Since leaving ACP, Wilson has been busy with theatre studies plus a role in the upcoming TV series The Man From Snowy River. “In ACP I wasn’t sure if I was a teenager or a young woman,” Wilson told TV Week. “It changed every episode, depending on the writers.” She will be taping her first scenes for Heartbreak High this week and is expected to debut on screen in August.

Simon’s flying high into war pilot
Former E Street and Home And Away star Simon Baker-Denny is in London to film a pilot for a new sitcom from the producers of Allo Allo and Dad’s Army. He will be in London for two weeks, his first trip to the UK, for the sitcom project titled Which Way To The War. “As this is my first trip to England I would have loved to see the English countryside. It’s disappointing, but I want to be a working actor,” he told TV Week. “I haven’t a clue who I’ll be working with, but I know there are two Aussie characters.”

Sarah cuts in!
Sarah Chadwick, formerly of GP, The Flying Doctors and short-lived sitcom Late For School, has been busy dealing with shysters and drag queens. In an episode of The Damnation Of Harvey McHugh, she plays a government film censor who is blackmailed by the scheming Minister (Philip Quast). And in the new movie The Adventures Of Priscilla: Queen Of The Desert, she plays the wife of a drag queen (played by Hugo Weaving). “I travelled to Alice Springs and Kings Canyon for shooting… the whole experience was bizarre, but gorgeous,” she told TV Week. “It’s a film that has a nice little message and it’s also a bit sad. From the bits of the film I’ve seen so far, it looks extraordinary.”


  • The Damnation Of Harvey McHugh star Aaron Blabey (pictured) says his TV character Harvey McHugh has a special attachment to animals. “He’s like Francis of Assisi,” Blabey told TV Week. But in real life he is the opposite of his character. “I don’t like a lot of animals particularly. I’m not as talented with them as Harvey is.” The 13-episode series included a horse, a cat, greyhounds, fish, pigeons and cows among the cast. “It was like Noah’s Ark,” producer Sue Masters said. “Using animals is a bit of a wildcard, but we were lucky with Harvey McHugh.”
  • Angie Milliken is to replace Sigrid Thornton in the upcoming spin-off from The Feds. Milliken joins original cast member Robert Taylor in the series of six telemovies. Also signed up for the cast is actor John Bach.
  • Network Ten, dubbed in some circles as “The Roseanne Network” after screening four-and-a-half hours of the star over five days recently, is annoying viewers by holding back new episodes of US titles The Simpsons, Seinfeld, Roseanne and Northern Exposure. It is rumoured that Ten is saving these new episodes to “relaunch” the network after its coverage of the Commonwealth Games in August.
  • Former Home And Away star Nicolle Dickson is soon to make a guest appearance in GP, though she may be difficult to recognise as she plays a street kid with a nose ring. Her character, Vicki Dugan, has an intellectual disability and befriends Donna (Tracie Sammut), much to the worry of William (Michael Craig) who sees the new friend as trouble. “She is like an older streetkid,” Dickson told TV Week. “It was just a guest role but it was good fun.” The episode screens later in June.

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here:

ellemcfeast_0002“While I doubt that Elle McFeast (Libbi Gorr, pictured) has earned a place among great Australian comedy characters at this stage, until now I have counted myself as quite a fan. Certainly she has lifted her profile from “football siren” on Melbourne radio to host of a much broader based, if still sports-orientated, national television program, Live And Sweaty. If Sex, Guys And Videotape was intended as the next step in broadening this profile, then I suspect Elle will finish up with mud — or worse — all over those trademark boots. If the show is meant to be a humorous look at the way men regard their sexuality, then it is not very funny. If it is meant to be serious, then it hardly ranks as a social document.”

janehall_0001Program Highlights (Melbourne, June 11-17):
Saturday: In A Country Practice (7.30pm, Ten), Jess’s (Jane Hall, pictured) meets Lance Cotton (Matt Parkinson) — a lonely, single farmer — who suddenly appears everywhere Jess turns.

Sunday: Sunday AFL includes Sydney Swans versus Hawthorn (1pm, Seven), live from Sydney, followed by West Coast Eagles versus Brisbane Bears, live from Perth. Sunday night movies are Evidence Of Love (Seven), Thunderheart (Nine) and Jane’s House (Ten).

Monday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Angel (Melissa George) tries to rekindle her romance with Shane (Dieter Brummer). Mary Kostakidis interviews Clive James in The Talk Show (7.30pm, SBS). In Frontline (8pm, ABC), Brooke (Jane Kennedy) hosts the show for a week after Mike (Rob Sitch) gets to do an overseas story.

Tuesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Cheryl (Caroline Gillmer) begins to enjoy her time in hospital — especially when Karl (Alan Fletcher) gives her special attention. In Blue Heelers (7.30pm, Seven), Tom (John Wood) is bewildered by his mate Charles McVie (Robin Cuming) embezzling $10,000 from the football club’s funds. Sale Of The Century co-host Nicky Buckley guest stars in The Bob Morrison Show (8pm, Nine).

Wednesday: In Heartbreak High (7.30pm, Ten), the sudden appearance of Stella’s (Peta Toppano) daughter Katerina (Ada Nicodemou) surprises the Poulos family, while Jack (Tai Nguyen) and Rose’s (Katherine Halliday) new found relationship is strained when Jack is beaten up by Lebanese youths. Graham Phillips (Quantum) hosts the new information technology series Hot Chips (8pm, ABC), featuring reporters Rebecca Le Tourneau, John Millard, Chris Nash and Gareth Powell. Live And Sweaty host Elle McFeast (Libbi Gorr) hosts the special Sex, Guys And Videotape (8.30pm, ABC), taking a candid look at male sexuality.

Thursday: Technology program The Big Byte (7.30pm, SBS) presents its series final. In The Damnation Of Harvey McHugh (8.30pm, ABC), Harvey (Aaron Blabey) is sent to work in the Family Court and is ordered to look after a frozen embryo that is the centre of a custody dispute. After four years, the late night/early morning reruns of Prisoner (4am, Ten) come to an end as the series reaches its 692nd and final episode with a dramatic finish.

Friday: In Home And Away (7pm, Ten), Angel (Melissa George) makes Shane (Dieter Brummer) an offer he can’t refuse. In The Great Outdoors (7.30pm, Seven), Ted Egan joins entertainer Geraldine Doyle for all the festivities of the Australian National Folk Festival in Canberra, and Penny Cook meets wildlife photographer Steve Parrish. The FIFA World Cup kicks off in the US with the Opening Ceremony (4am, SBS) in Chicago, followed by the opening match between Germany and Bolivia (5am, SBS).

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 11 June 1994. Southdown Press.




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/06/1994-june-11-17.html

Jun 09 2014

Mike Munro among Queen’s Birthday Honours

mikemunro_0001Newsreader Mike Munro (pictured), TV vet Dr Harry Cooper, sporting commentators Ray Warren and Phil Gould, members of The Seekers and TV presenter Richard Wilkins are among those to be awarded in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2014.


Professor Paul Grabowsky — “For distinguished service to music as a performer, composer, educator and mentor, and through significant contributions to the arts as an administrator.” Professor Grabowsky became known on television in the early 1990s as music director for Tonight Live With Steve Vizard. Other television credits include dramas Phoenix and Janus, hosting Access All Areas and as Commissioning Editor for ABC in the late 1990s.

theseekersAthol Guy, Judith Durham, Bruce Woodley, Keith Potger — “For distinguished service to the performing arts as an entertainer, through seminal contributions to Australian music, and as a supporter of a range of not-for-profit organisations.” The four performers formed popular singing group The Seekers (pictured) in the 1960s and collectively were awarded Australians Of The Year for 1967. Athol Guy later worked in television as host of A Guy Called Athol and The Big 9 and as a talent judge on New Faces.

Sandra Levy — “For distinguished service to the arts as a film and television director and producer, and through strategic leadership and educational roles.” Sandra Levy is currently Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Film Television And Radio School. She has also worked as a producer for Southern Star Xanadu and held executive roles for ABC and the Nine Network.

Dr Zygmunt (Ziggy) Switkowski — “For distinguished service to the community, particularly to tertiary education administration, scientific organisations and the telecommunications sector, to business, and to the arts.” Dr Switkowski is a former Chairman of Optus Vision and President of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)


Angela Catterns — “For significant service to the broadcast media industry as a radio presenter, and to social welfare organisations.” Early in her career Angela Catterns worked at regional television station CBN8 (Orange, NSW), was a reporter for Simon Townsend’s Wonder World and a producer/researcher for SBS.

Phil Gould — “For significant service to rugby league football as an administrator, commentator, coach and player, and to the community.” Phil Gould has been a commentator of rugby league for the Nine Network since the 1990s.

Virginia Haussegger — “For significant service to the community, particularly as an advocate for women’s rights and gender equity, and to the media.” Virginia Haussegger is a former journalist for the Seven and Nine networks and has worked for The 7.30 Report in Melbourne and Darwin. She is currently journalist and news presenter for ABC News in Canberra.

Mike Munro — “For significant service to journalism as a television current affairs reporter and presenter, and to the community as an ambassador for a range of charitable organisations.” Mike Munro has over 30 years experience in television with credits including 60 Minutes, This Is Your Life, Willesee, A Current Affair, Nine News, What A Year, Missing Persons Unit, Sunday Night and is currently weekend news presenter for Ten Eyewitness News. He was awarded TV Reporter Of The Year at the TV Week Logie Awards in 1985.

Richard Wilkins — “For significant service to the community through a range of charities, and to the entertainment industry.” Richard Wilkins was host of MTV for the Nine Network before becoming the network’s entertainment editor, including working on New Year’s Eve telecasts, ARIA Awards, TV Week Logie Awards and Today.

Eleanor Witcombe — “For significant service to the arts as a writer for radio, film, television and theatre.” Eleanor Witcombe was a scriptwriter for The Mavis Bramston Show, Number 96 and Water Under The Bridge. Television writing credits also include Smugglers Beware, Seven Little Australians, Jonah and The Harp In The South.


Dr Harry Cooper — “For service to veterinary science and animal welfare, and as an author and presenter.” Dr Harry Cooper was a presenter on Burke’s Backyard, Talk To The Animals and Harry’s Practice. Since 2004 he has been a presenter on Better Homes And Gardens.

Vaughan Hinton — “For service to the media through television production, and to the community of Monbulk.” Vaughan Hinton is a producer and consultant for ABC, working on programs including Blackout, First Australians and Compass. He was also Executive Producer for outside broadcasts of Anzac Day marches and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Ray Warren — “For service to the broadcast media industry as a sports commentator.” Ray Warren has been a commentator of rugby league since 1974, formerly for the Ten Network and since 1989 at Nine.

Rob Weekes — “For service to the broadcast media industry as a producer and director, and to the community.” Rob Weekes was a director for The Magic Circle Club, Good Morning Mr Doubleday and The Long Arm and later producer/director for the long-running Countdown. He also produced ABC‘s television coverage of the Commonwealth Games in 1982 and 1986.

Source: Governor-General Of AustraliaAngela Catterns. TV Week, 10 February 1968.




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/06/mike-munro-among-queens-birthday-honours.html

Jun 08 2014

When Beatlemania came to Australia

beatles_0003It is 50 years since The Beatles toured Australia. It was the biggest pop culture event to hit our shores in the 1960s – providing scenes of hysteria not seen again until ABBA came to Australia a decade later.

Beatlemania was everywhere in 1964. It was a rare week if TV Week and TV Times magazines, then the dominant barometers of popular culture, had failed to feature a front cover or report anything on the fab four. In the lead up to the Australian tour TV Times had featured special listings of Beatle lyrics. The magazine also ran a competition — Beaticles — where readers were invited to send in sketches of their own Beatle-inspired creations. “The more way-out your idea is the better, so long as it isn’t “sick”,” TV Times suggested to potential artists. The contest offered weekly prizes of a Beatles record with the grand prize of £50 worth of records of the winner’s choosing.

beatles_0001TV Week then upped the stakes with its Beatles contest: “Win a lock of Paul McCartney‘s hair!”

TV Week also published a book, cover-to-cover of nothing but The Beatles — “The Beatles in colour. The Beatles at home. The Beatles at play. What are the Beatles REALLY like? See a REAL Beatle hairdo!”

Inevitably with such public hysteria over the band’s arrival in Australia, the media clamoured for a piece of Beatles action — and it started before they had even touched down.

beatlesTheir arrival in Sydney, from Hong Kong, was scheduled for around 7.30am on Thursday 11 June. From 5.00am radio stations were already covering the scene of the relatively small group of 750 fans (and an estimated 400 police) who had gathered outside a rain-soaked Mascot airport from the night before. Sydney’s TCN9 was there to cover the event. The wonders of the coaxial cable meant that Melbourne viewers would also get to see the group’s arrival.

Despite all the hype and the cheers of the enthusiastic crowd, the live TV broadcast of the Beatles arriving at Sydney failed to impress TV Times critic FC Kennedy:

“Watching the arrival in Australia of The Beatles on TV was poor compensation for climbing out of bed before dawn. Though the technicians who brought in the outdoor broadcast worked a minor miracle, Sydney, that unpredictable city, let them down. An hour’s delay in the arrival of the Beatle aircraft left the producer with nothing to do but sweep the soggy airport. Occasionally, commentators Johnny O’Keefe and John Bailey quizzed bedraggled teenagers on how long they had waited and who was their favourite Beatle.

“I hung around my TV set until the Beatles had made one appearance on the hotel balcony in pouring rain. After that I switched off. Even with a tight roof over my head the telecast was too wet for me.”

beatles_0004While The Beatles (including “fifth Beatle” Jimmy Nicol, filling in for drummer Ringo Starr who was delayed in joining the Australian tour due to illness) were having some rest in Sydney before heading to Adelaide to start their four-city tour, TV continued to feed the Beatlemania hype. ABC presented a half-hour special, B Day, narrated and produced by Kit Denton (father of Andrew Denton). B Day sought to analyse The Beatles’ trade marks, namely their mop-top hair and distinctive tunes, and interviewed fans as well as public officials charged with making their arrival in Sydney a success.

On Saturday evening ABC screened the special Beatles edition of British pop show Ready, Steady, Go, produced by Australian Robert Fleming for British channel Rediffusion London. In Melbourne, HSV7 had made a last minute program schedule change, with the one-hour special Around The Beatles, screening at 7.30pm. The Age previewed the program, also from Rediffusion, as “possibly the most entertaining show yet taped featuring the group”.

Seven also had two other Beatles specials ready to roll over the following nights — Sydney radio man Bob Rogers‘ half-hour report on The Beatles and the second British-produced Big Night Out With The Beatles special. (The first had aired in Australia some months earlier)

Sunday mid-afternoon saw The Beatles land in Melbourne. Both HSV7 and GTV9 had set up outside broadcasts to catch the first glimpse of the band’s arrival at Essendon Airport. Both channels also bumped afternoon programs from their regular timeslots to cover the band’s press conference at the Southern Cross Hotel, where an estimated 20,000 fans had gathered outside to see their pop star idols.

Having performed in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, by the end of the month as their Australian tour was drawing to a close, Beatles member John Lennon was the speaker on ABC’s Guest Of Honour radio program. His speech, later printed in full in the ABC-published TV Times, covered various topics including the band’s formation, his home town of Liverpool, some of his artistic inspirations and highlights of the Australian tour:

“I thought I’d like to take this opportunity, because we’re coming to the end of this Australian trip and, you know, we’d just like to thank everybody — you know, from police to Lord Mayors. (Even though we were misquoted about not liking Lord Mayors, we do like them as much as everybody else, and they’re all very nice) And all the receptions we’ve been to were all well handled (which a lot of them aren’t sometimes). And we’d just like to thank everybody in Australia, because it seems as if we’ve met everybody or at least seen them outside a window, although we were disappointed we didn’t see any Aborigines. We just thank you all very much, and goodbye.”

beatles_0006The third and final Melbourne concert was videotaped and later broadcast as the one-hour special The Beatles Sing For Shell, shown on the National Television Network (now the Nine Network) and regional stations early in July — just days after The Beatles had bid farewell to Australia.

The Beatles Sing For Shell was later reported as one of the most-watched TV specials of the decade, averaging a rating of 53.5 (per cent of households) across both Sydney and Melbourne.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ only Australian tour, ABC is screening a special, When The Beatles Drove Us Wild, Tuesday 10 June, 8.30pm, ABC1.

Source: The Age, 11 June 1964, 15 June 1964. TV Week, 14 March 1964, 4 July 1964. TV Times, 24 June 1964, 8 July 1964. Australian TV: The First 25 Years, 1981.

YouTube: KlassicKlips4U





Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/06/when-beatlemania-came-to-australia.html

Jun 04 2014

1994: June 4-10

tvweek_040694Cover: Tori Spelling (Beverly Hills 90210)

Michelle back to nurse ACP’s ratings
Michelle Pettigrove didn’t follow A Country Practice when it shifted from the Seven Network to Ten. With ratings for the ‘new’ ACP needing improvement, and the loose ends left by her prolonged disappearance from Wandin Valley, Pettigrove is returning for one episode to explain her character Kate’s decision to separate from husband Dr Harry Morrison (Andrew Blackman). “Yes, Michelle has agreed to return and film an episode,” a Ten spokesperson told TV Week. “It is a few months away and they haven’t written the episode yet, but nurse Kate Bryant will be back to say goodbye to the Valley.”

Forced to choose
Blue Heelers star William McInnes was driving one day when he got pulled over by a police officer. “He flashed his lights and waved at me, and I thought, ‘Oh no’,” McInnes told TV Week. “I pulled over and he said, ‘You’re a cop, aren’t you?’ He was having a bit of a gag. He just wanted to have a chat about the show.” McInnes says talking to real police officers about their jobs helps keep him in touch with his character Nick Schultz’s background. This week’s episode of Blue Heelers sees Senior-Constable Schultz having to choose between his commitment to the police force and to his girlfriend Jennifer (Belinda McClory). “The great thing about working on a series like this is you build up your character from week to week, and every once in a while you get a really good episode,” he said.

Alex in wonderland!
Attitude reporter Alex Tarney is looking forward to the challenge facing the show as it moves from 9.30pm Wednesday to 7.30pm Saturday in August. The move will put the program up against Hey Hey It’s Saturday (Nine), A Country Practice (Ten) and the new US series Lois And Clark (Seven). “It is a big move,” she told TV Week. “But I’m sure there’s a lot of people who don’t want to watch either of those shows, so hopefully we’ll be able to make a bit of a mark. We’ve had a lot of support from within the ABC.”


  • Law Of The Land star Peter O’Brien is the hot tip to replace David Reyne on Nine‘s Getaway.
  • Former Newlyweds star Cathy Godbold will soon be appearing in a guest role on Hey Dad! “I’m Ben’s (Ben Oxenbould) ex. I’ve decided to try and get him back, so I turn up with a story about a rich fiance to make Ben jealous,” she told TV Week. “To try and avoid me, he makes up a story saying he’s engaged to Tracy (Belinda Emmett). I break down and tell him the truth, and so does he, then the comedy follows.” Godbold, daughter of former TV presenter Rosemary Margan, has also filmed a guest role for Blue Heelers. “It was for a 16-year-old, tough, semi-alcoholic prostitute. So opposite to anything I’ve ever done. It’s so different to Newlyweds!”
  • billycrystal“It’s come to this… chatting to an ostrich,” said Hollywood star Billy Crystal, in Australia to promote the film City Slickers II, having a chat with Daryl Somers and Ossie Ostrich in Sydney. The interview was mostly serious but ended with Crystal recreating a scene from earlier film Throw Momma From The Train — with Daryl and Ossie both copping a whack from a frying pan.
  • Former A Country Practice star Brian Wenzel is returning to the theatre for his first stage role in 23 years. He is starring in David Williamson‘s Brilliant Lies as the father of a woman who accuses her boss of sexual harassment. “I accepted the role because he’s an incredible change from (ACP character) Frank Gilroy,” Wenzel told TV Week. Meanwhile, the actor is reserving judgement on the revamped ACP which hasn’t rated so well since debuting on Ten. “I wish it well, the main reason being I like to see Australian actors in work,” he said. “I notice they haven’t said anything yet about what happened to Frank Gilroy. I just hope they don’t say he’s in an old folks’ home, because he was too strong a person for that.”

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here

“There was a lot of shock and horror surrounding the recent publication of pictures of (Molly) Meldrum and a former girlfriend, Joy Antonie, with whom he had supposedly had a “bizarre marriage pact”. The Sydney newspapers jumped on the bandwagon days later — typically — and there was much ado. Here at TV Week we were shocked and horrified too… mainly because we’d already run the story and pictures. Nine years ago!”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, June 4-10, 1994):
Saturday: Australia takes on Italy in 12th Women’s Basketball World Championships (4.45pm, ABC). In A Country Practice (7.30pm, Ten), Ian’s (Paul Gleeson) joy at finding a family of possums turns to horror when he finds them sick from toxic waste.

Sunday: Sunday AFL includes Sydney Swans versus North Melbourne (2pm, Seven) and Melbourne versus West Coast Eagles (5pm, Seven). Sunday night movies are 1492: Conquest Of Paradise (Seven), Quick Change (repeat, Nine) and Marked For Death (repeat, Ten).

Monday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Jack’s (Daniel Amalm) decision not to partner Selina (Tempany Deckert) to the debutante ball lands him in the firing lane. The Talk Show (7.30pm, SBS) features social scientist Hugh MacKay and journalist Richard Glover as they talk about masculinity, the male ego and the changing role of men in society. This week’s Frontline (8pm, ABC) covers the fictional current affairs show’s attempts to contact a gunman holed up in a farmhouse with several hostages. Interview series Ray Martin Presents (8.30pm, Nine) features Billy Crystal and Jodie Foster. Seven presents a Normandy D Day Celebration special from the US, hosted by newscaster Walter Kronkite, commemorating the 50th anniversary of D Day.

Tuesday: In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Ian (Tony Llewellyn-Jones) leads the Dean family through their emotional crises, but feels responsible for the drug arrest of their son.

Wednesday: In Heartbreak High (7.30pm, Ten), the school dance is on and the place is abuzz with gossip and speculation, while Con (Salvatore Coco) organises Jodie (Abi Tucker) to sing with the band. In Hey Dad (8pm, Seven), Arthur (Matthew Krok) is sick and tired of being constantly ordered around by Tracy (Belinda Emmett) and Ben (Ben Oxenbould) and plots his revenge.

Thursday: Beyond 2000 (7.30pm, Ten) reports on the Luxor Pyramid, a new Las Vegas theme park with a casino and hotel large enough to house nine 747s and home to world’s wildest virtual reality system. Actress Sarah Chadwick guest stars in The Damnation Of Harvey McHugh (8.30pm, ABC).

Friday: Neighbours star Bruce Samazan hosts the new country music program Stampede (6pm, ABC). In Rex Hunt’s The Great Outdoors (7.30pm, Seven), guest reporter Rebekah Elmaloglou visits the Out Bound camp in Victoria’s Grampians, Frankie J Holden joins a group of boat enthusiasts, and Penny Cook is shown how all the essentials for camping can fit into one backpack.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 4 June 1994. Southdown Press.



Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/06/1994-june-4-10.html

Jun 01 2014

Ten to stage Family Feud revival

grantdenyerFamily Feud, the classic game show format, is set for a revival on Network Ten.

While the format revival is not a huge surprise — it had been circulating around the industry rumour mill for some time — the choice of host is an unlikely one. Former Sunrise weatherman and Seven Network host Grant Denyer (pictured) has signed on for the new show.

The Sunday Telegraph reports that Denyer’s contract with Seven, where he had previously hosted Australia’s Got Talent, It Takes Two, Slideshow and Million Dollar Minute and appeared as a contestant on Dancing With The Stars, expired last week and he was offered the Ten role via his former Seven Network boss Peter Meakin, now news director at Ten.

Prior to joining Seven Denyer had been a presenter for Ten’s motor sports coverage.

The new Family Feud is expected to be taped in Melbourne and be screened in the 6.00pm timeslot — up against top rating news bulletins on Seven and Nine. Ten has struggled in the 6.00pm timeslot for years, in particular since its ill-fated current affairs venture with George Negus in 2011. Recent repeats of The Simpsons and Modern Family in the timeslot have failed to give the network any ratings joy.

Ten has also tried a number of game show formats in the 6.00pm timeslot over the years — including Jeopardy (1993) with Tony Barber, Battle Of The Sexes (1998) with Ed Phillips and dating show Taken Out (2008).

tonybarberFamily Feud first appeared on Australian TV in 1977. Tony Barber hosted the first version (pictured), produced by Reg Grundy Organisation at TVW7 in Perth. When the program was bought for screening by Nine in Sydney and Melbourne production shifted to Melbourne’s GTV9 in 1979. Daryl Somers took over as host in 1980 after Barber began his long stint hosting Sale Of The Century. Somers handed over to Sandy Scott for the show’s final year in 1984.

The format was revived by the Seven Network in 1989 with host Rob Brough and later John Deeks. It continued through to 1996. As well as the weekday series Seven also had success with a celebrity version of the show on Saturday nights.

bertsfamilyfeudNine revisited Family Feud again in 2006 when it launched as Bert’s Family Feud, hosted by Bert Newton, marking his return to the network after 20 years. Bert’s Family Feud struggled up against Seven’s popular Deal Or No Deal but continued until mid-2007. Despite its low ratings Newton still managed to score a Gold Logie nomination.

An airdate for the new Family Feud is yet to be announced.

Source: Sunday Telegraph, Wikipedia, TV Times, The Celebrity Bureau



Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/06/ten-to-stage-family-feud-revival.html

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